It is that time of year when many club supporters contemplate, in varying degrees, a possible change of managership for their club in the summer (I will mention no specific names, of course). It is only natural that a coach of Jogi’s calibre is quite often mentioned in discussions on social media, with sometimes a negative as well as positive response.

So, here is my take on some of the sentiments I have seen expressed over the past days, and hopefully with one or two misconceptions addressed.

“Joachim Löw is leaving Germany after the World Cup” (possibly with the addition of apparently/it is rumoured/someone told me) “Let’s ask Löw after the World Cup”

He has a contract until Euro 2016, extended in October 2013. Neither of the two parties that matter, the DFB and Jogi himself, have given any indication that they are not fully committed to each other for the immediate future. Obviously anything can happen in football and things can always change, but this could likewise apply to any of the other coaches at the World Cup, or indeed in football in general.

Rumours are what they are, rumours. And, just like that guy down the chipshop who swears he’s Elvis, just because you hear it, doesn’t make it true.

And while I am not a lawyer, I don’t think if someone is under contract it is as simple as just asking or going and getting them, admirable though that sentiment might be.

“He has little experience as a club coach. His club coaching record is {insert derogatory adjective]”

Joachim Löw has ten years experience as a club coach in four different countries, including Champions League matches and a European final appearance.

The debate as to whether a coaching record can be claimed to be ‘better’ or one that accumulates ‘greater experience’ when at a megarich club with an open cheque book as opposed to one with more limited resources is one that has no doubt been covered in wider read blogs than this one. Experience gained is experience gained, whether that experience be good, or bad.

“He’s only ever won against small teams. He never wins against the top players.”

Lionel Messi ‘big’ enough for you?
How about Cristiano Ronaldo ?
Or Luis Suarez ?
Neymar ?

Enough said.

“He never wins the important games.”

Let’s pass that one over to you to answer, Señor Maradona, shall we?

>

“He’s had three attempts to win a trophy, and has won nothing. I want Klopp/Heynckes!”

Yes, Jogi has not won a title at the last three opportunities. But in order to claim a similar parallel with a club coach, that would mean a club coach going just one season without winning a trophy. A fate, I believe, both the other-mentioned gentlemen have suffered during their careers.

“He’s done nothing with Germany. He took over a successful team.”

No, he didn’t.

In the tournament prior to him joining the management team, Euro 2004, Germany had exited at the Group Stage without winning a match. Shortly before he took over as Bundestrainer, they lay 22nd in the FIFA World Rankings, compared to the 2nd place they now hold based on years under his tenure. Whatever the odd anomaly the ratings may throw up, it is hard to argue against that one.

“But Semi-finals are not good enough. No-one remembers those who finish second/third.”

So why are we all still talking about the Dutch team of the Seventies then? A team that enthralled my generation, and successive ones, with their football and have left a lasting legacy in the game.

That aside, a shot against the post or an error by an individual may make all the different to the result of one match, and may mean the exiting of a tournament in the knock-out stage. It certainly does not, however, make the difference between a good coach and a poor one.

“I don’t like him/this Facebook group doesn’t like him/my followers on twitter who support BVB don’t like him/my uncle’s dentist in Cottbus doesn’t like him..”

Yet it would appear Johan Cruyff, Sir Alex Ferguson, Vincente del Bosque and Jose Mourinho have all extolled his virtues as a coach. In addition from within his own country Beckenbauer, Netzer, Rummenigge and Vogts, to name a few, have also praised him. You may value the opinion of your teenage followers, but I’ll leave you to decide whose opinions are actually worth more in the real world of football.

If we allowed popularity on social media to be indicative of the merits of an individual, Justin Bieber would be ten times the man Nelson Mandela was.

Plenty jump on bandwagons because they think a certain sentiment is cool or trendy, and will gain them attention, and are afraid or unable to validate their own point of view. I don’t expect your Club Chairman falls into that category.

“But look at these bad comments on [insert gutter press]”

I have already covered the misrepresentation of public opinion by the tabloid press, and how the comments section of any website can be manipulated in an earlier blog.

However, I will wrap things up with my own personal favourite:

“We need to get a young coach in, like Joachim Löw”

Jogi is (an admittedly amazing looking) 54. Thanks for the compliment. I doubt if the word ‘young’ will be attributed to George Clooney this year.

Advertisements